Sunday Lunch at Public House by Nico*

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If you’re looking for somewhere to eat this weekend, I’d recommend one of Glasgow’s newest spots – Public House by Nico. It’s the third restaurant to be opened by chef Nico Simone, and his second in the city. I’ve been meaning to try Edinburgh’s Six by Nico since it opened, but considering booking are notoriously hard to get, I’ve not gotten round to it yet. So, when the invite to try Public House by Nico’s Sunday Lunch popped up, you can imagine how quickly I RSVP’d!

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Situated in the heart of the Great Western Road, Public House by Nico is a cosy spot, which serves up sharing plates throughout the week, and then goes hard on brunch and roasts at the weekend. I headed through on Sunday to see what it was all about, and happily, I was seriously impressed.

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The restaurant itself is surprisingly cosy. There’s a traditional bar as you go in, complete with comfy chairs, so if you’re looking for an afternoon of great food and conversation, that’s your spot. Since we were in a group, we seated up against the side wall – a perfect place for people watching.

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We were in to try out the Sunday Roast – served weekly 2 courses are £17 whilst 3 courses will set you back £20. It’s exceptional value. I kicked off proceedings with the Stornoway Black Pudding & Potato Terrine – a surprisingly light and fluffy mix of earthy flavour. The black garlic emulsion is came served with tasted almost chocolatey in it’s richness, and the ewes cheese gave a salty tang. A perfectly balanced dish, I still can’t quite believe how light the mix of black pudding and potato was!

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Then it was the main event – I couldn’t resist the Roast Speyside Sirloin (£3 supplement). It was everything you’d want from a roast dinner: two generous slices of perfectly pink sirloin, sweet vegetable, a cloud of Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and a spoonful of fiery horseradish.

Served up in a tower, the roast is everything you crave each weekend, and it was quite the cure for a few sore heads sitting around the table.Yo0TaGGAR%WP8Y+cVKjufQ_thumb_721

The whole dish was perfection. From the roast beef, which positively melted in the mouth, to the crisp roast potatoes, and the sweet honey-roasted carrots and parsnips, I could have happily sat and feasted all afternoon.

There were even bubbling pots of cauliflower cheese to dive into (these were to die for) as if all the goodies on our plates weren’t enough. The cauliflower was divine – equal parts creamy and cheesy this was sheer comfort food. The whole afternoon was so enjoyable, and a huge shout-out has to go to the staff too, they couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful, making sure glasses were topped up, and we had everything we could think of. Even though the desserts sounded divine, I could even think about sampling any of them, even if the Sticky Toffee Pudding sounded heavenly!

Thank you so much to Public House by Nico for having me! You can find out more about the menu here.

 

 

 

Celebrating Valentines with M&S*

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I know it’s not the most popular opinion in the world, but I’m a serious fan of Valentines Day. What can I say? Maybe I’m a romantic, or perhaps it’s just the flurry of pink and red in the middle of a rather grey February, but I’m a sucker for anything Valentines. Happily though, so it seems are M&S.

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Today I arrived home right as the postman drew up to the house, and getting a big box of M&S goodies, couldn’t have felt any more indulgent. Inside were a host of goodies celebrating Valentines (or Galentines if you’d rather), and they could not be more adorable (or delicious!)

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There are your classic treats – think chocolate hearts, and lollipops, but there are also some fun new updates too! I am more than a little obsessed with the caramel milk chocolate hearts. They’re delicious with a coffee!

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There are also some gorgeous gummies! These are ‘Would it be uni-corny to say I love you?’

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I’m also rather in love with these Prosecco and Raspberry jelly sweets. Made with real Prosecco and Raspberry extracts, they’re a grown up take on a classic.

The ‘Filled with Love’ truffle balls are incredible too. There’s a choice of white chocolate, hazelnut or chocolate mousse centres, and you’d better believe these are being kept to be enjoyed this weekend!

Last up, but certainly not least, is the bottle of ‘Be My Valentini.’ Made with premium white rum, cranberry juice, lime juice and orange peel – its a fruity little treat I can’t wait to crack open tomorrow evening. It’s incredibly easy to serve – just pop it in the fridge, then serve over ice.

Thank you so much to M&S for my goodies – I’m seriously in the Valentines spirit!

What is Burns Night? And how you should celebrate it*

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Friday night is Burns Night, which is pretty much Scotland’s second holiday. It’s a celebration of all things Scottish, with Robert Burns at the heart and centre of the festivities. If you’re heading to an official do, you’ll get to be piped in, enjoy the Selkirk Grace, and then of course the famous Address to a Haggis. It’s a wholly dramatic event, and it gets fun when the Address to Lads, and the Address to the Lassies get going. There’s also a whole lot of Burns’ poetry, and of course there’s the meal. It’s very seasonal, and it’s very Scottish, and if you’re wanting to host your own Burns Night event – M&S is your one stop shop.

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As you would hope, all of M&S Burns Night goodies are wholly Scottish. There is the Limited Edition Haggis, made especially from uber haggis makers Macsween, potatoes, swede and rainbow carrots all grown in Scotland, and there is, of course a whole selection of Scottish whiskies. Even better news? M&S have 20% off their core whisky range!

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If you’re looking to host your own Burns Night, it really couldn’t be easier. Mashed potatoes and mashed swede are the easiest sides in the world – just boil and mash with butter, and you can even prepare ahead, and simply reheat when your guests arrive. The haggis is incredibly easy too. You can cook it in the oven (make sure it’s wrapped in foil, in a water-filled ovenproof dish and simmer for an hour and a half or so) or you can even pop it in the microwave if you’re pushed for time.

New for this year, M&S even have a brad new whisky sauce to serve alongside your meal (it’s delicious btw) and I love the addition of roasted rainbow carrots for a little added crunch and colour. No night would be complete without a dram of whisky, and M&S some fabulous Speyside examples to enjoy (I opted for the Tamdu 12). Even if you don’t drink it neat (full disclosure, as much as I’d like to, I can’t) M&S even have a fun spiked hot chocolate recipe, which you can find here.

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Thank you so much to M&S for gifting all products featured – we’re having a proper shindig on Friday, where they’ll all be properly enjoyed!

 

AD – Preparing for Christmas with M&S and sharing #MyMarksFave

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With just over a week to go until Christmas Day, I’m very much loving the festive build up. From evenings out, to entertaining at home, it feels like there is something on nightly. This year has been an incredibly busy one, so I’m savouring every cosy evening, and as usual, M&S has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to stocking up on seasonal goodies.

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From turkeys to artisanal gins, M&S are a one-stop-shop for getting ready for Christmas, and I love how I can mix and match festive classics, like their incredible Christmas cakes (I chose the traditional fully iced version) with fun new arrivals like Salted Caramel Pine Cones and Shimmering Milk Chocolates.

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M&S vol au vents are a bit of a running tradition in my family – there are stories about how my grandmother was never without them, just incase friend dropped by, and who am I to break tradition? My favourites are the Mini Deep Filled vol au vents (£10) – coming in three flavour combinations (bacon and mushroom, salmon and cream cheese & tomato and mozzarella) you can pop these in the oven a few minutes before guests are expected, and they disappear in front of your eyes!

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If you’re heading to someone’s house around the Christmas period, one of my favourite things to take is a great cheeseboard, and M&S is absolutely killing it with their selection. Whether you opt for one with board included, or my favourite, the Perfect Pairings collection, it’s guaranteed to go down a storm! The Perfect Pairings box includes a selection of four cheeses with accompanying chutneys and jams. I loved the pairing notes tucked inside, and the combination of flavours are absolutely perfect.

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At this point, it feels like M&S is pretty much synonymous with Christmas, and with good reason! From gorgeously scented candles (their Mandarin, Cinnamon and Clove and Mistletoe & Fir scents are divine) to easy gift buying (their beauty sections are an absolute dream) a trip to M&S seriously reduces any festive stress, and once your shopping is finished, you can even reward yourself with a drop of their Christmas Gin – made by Edinburgh’s own Old Curiosity Gin.

This post is sponsored by M&S but all opinions are my own. Thank you so much to M&S for working with me.

Dine Edinburgh Festive Menu*

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Edinburgh’s Dine is a restaurant which has been on my radar for a while now. Situated in the same building as the city’s Lyceum Theatre, it’s perfect spot for pre-show dining or post-show drinks, and it’s central location means that it’s easy to pop into if you’re looking for a lunch or dinner spot when you’re out shopping too.

It’s a stunning space – located on the first floor, you have to pass the most gorgeous living wall beautifully lit with the restaurant’s name. It’s a gorgeous spot, and sets the scene nicely for things to come. The dining room is equally beautiful – all twinkling lights, and a tree seemingly growing through the floor.

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The restaurant is currently serving their Festive Market Menu – available for lunch, pre-theatre and evening dining, it has a curated selection of seasonal dishes, which are perfect for getting into the Holiday mood!

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We started the evening off with glasses of Prosecco as we perused the menu. There was a great selection of seasonal dishes, which although they had traditional elements, didn’t feel too cliched. There is no turkey on the menu, instead duck, lamb and sea bass all have a starring role.

We kicked things off with the Smoked salmon, served with lemon and dill cream cheese, compressed cucumber, toasted brioche. It was a deliciously rich start to the evening – the toasted brioche was toasted and buttery, with a curl of smoked salmon, as well as a smoked salon mouse. The lemony cream cheese really cut through the fish, and I’m more than a little obsessed with the compressed cucumber!

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We also had to try the Caramelised goat’s cheese which came served with soused winter vegetables and a bitter leaf salad. Another absolute delight – the mix of bitter salad leaves, root vegetables and goats cheese was heavenly.

I couldn’t resist the sound of the Crisp Confit Leg of Duck, which came served with mulled wine cabbage, fondant potato, cardamom and orange puree. I am beyond glad I did. With skin perfectly crisp, this felt like the ideal festive meal – the duck flesh was rich and delicious underneath, and it absolutely came alive with paired with the zesty orange puree. The cabbage was delicately scented with mulled wine spices. The potato fondant was absolutely perfection too – buttery soft with crisp edges, and it just melted in the mouth.

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We also ordered the Roast Chump of Lamb, with thyme and garlic mash, honey-glazed baby vegetables and kale. This felt like winter on a plate – with perfectly medium cooked lamb which absolutely melted, along with perfectly roasted vegetables. A delicious alternative to the traditional turkey roast – this is perfect to enjoy if you’re looking for something a little different.

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Even though we were absolutely stuffed, we could resist a little dessert, with both of us going for the traditional Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Perfectly spiced, and wonderfully dense, it was a picture perfect end to the meal.

The Dine Festive Market Menu is priced from £21.50 at lunch and £23.50 at dinner. Thank you so much to Dine for having us!

 

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